In the world of sleep, foam mattress reviews have been growing in popularity as people hunt for the perfect night’s rest. There are so many different types of mattresses on the market now, many of which are foam based, but shopping for a foam mattress can be a daunting task. Different types of foam, thickness, firmness, breathability, are just a few characteristics that may vary depending on what type of foam is used. In order to make an informed decision, you’ve got to get the lowdown on the basics of foam mattresses.
Each foam has special characteristics that make it uniquely different from the other varieties. When reading foam mattress reviews, make sure you know your foam! Consider comfort, breathability, support, sleeping style, responsiveness, and body-contouring.
Best Foam Mattresses
- Best Soft Foam Mattress – Layla
- Best for Back Sleepers – Leesa Studio
- Best Memory Foam Mattress – WinkBeds Gravity Lux
- Best for Side Sleepers – Nolah
- Best Cooling Mattress – Bear
- Best for Back Pain – Casper
- Best Value Mattress – Dreamfoam Arctic Dreams
All of these mattresses utilize different varieties of foam to give them a unique feel and respond to different types of sleepers.
Top 7 Foam Mattress
Best Soft Mattress
Love the feeling of sinking deeply into soft, contouring memory foam? Then you might love the Layla mattress. This flippable, all-foam mattress features two firmnesses in one: The firm side is around a 6.5 out of 10 on the firmness scale, which makes it a decent choice for combo sleepers. The soft side is (surprise!) even softer, and I think most people who are looking at memory foam mattresses will prefer this side.
For fans of soft mattresses, the soft side is where the Layla really shines. It’s thicker than the other side to allow plenty of room for you to sink into the memory foam. In true memory foam form, it offers plenty of contouring and pressure relief — so it could be perfect for side sleepers, who need this comfort around their shoulders and hips. Worried that sinking into the memory foam will make you sleep hot? Fear not. The mattress features a copper infusion to minimize trapped heat, so it actually sleeps fairly cool.
Want to learn more? Check out my full Layla mattress review.
A flippable design makes the Layla mattress a truly customizable bedroom accessory.
Best For Back Sleepers
On the prowl for an all-foam mattress that’ll support you while you snooze on your back? Then take a gander at the Leesa Studio, an all-foam model that packs a one-two punch of pressure relief and support.
Here, you’ll find three layers of foam: responsive memory foam, polyurethane foam, and sturdy high-density poly foam. When combined, these materials produce a balanced vibe of both lift and give, working to alleviate tension at the shoulders and position the hips on top of the bed. It’s a winning feel for back sleepers because it sets the spine in an even line while bringing a little extra comfort to the lumbar region.
Check out the our Leesa Studio review to learn more!
- Great for Back Sleepers
- Sleeps Cool
Best Memory Foam Mattress
Memory foam was first released by NASA in the 1970s, and it was only a matter of time before the material made its way into the mattress world — where it’s enjoyed massive popularity pretty much ever since. Classic memory foam has been featured in a few other beds on this list, but it really shines in the GravityLux, which (in my opinion!) offers the truest memory foam feel. The five inches of memory foam on top of the mattress let you sink deeply into it, offer tons of great pressure relief, and overall just feel like a body-contouring hug.
Because the GravityLux is so giving, it’s likely to appeal to side sleepers, whose shoulders and hips will benefit from the mattress’s serious pressure relief. It could also be a good fit for combo sleepers who spend a lot of time on their side. If the thought of being enveloped by memory foam has you sweating, don’t worry. The GravityLux has a few features to help you sleep comfortably, including a breathable Tencel cover and a gel infusion that helps prevent trapped heat.
Want to learn more about this memory foam classic? Read my entire GravityLux review.
The WinkBedsGravityLux has thick layers of memory foam to provide great pressure relief and the classic contouring feel of sinking into bed.
Best for Side Sleepers
In lieu of memory foam, the all-foam Nolah features a proprietary alternative dubbed AirFoam™. This material is distinct from memory foam in a couple ways: It’s open-celled, which makes it more breathable and less likely to trap heat. And it’s also thicker and slightly bouncier, so it allows for more mobility. Because it’s easy to move around on the mattress, the Nolah might appeal to combo sleepers — particularly those who spend a fair amount of time on their side. It’s also a great choice for stricter side sleepers.
Why might the Nolah appeal to side sleepers? For starters, the AirFoam™ provides plenty of body contouring and pressure relief, especially in sensitive areas such as the shoulder. Additionally, the mattress is medium-soft, which should allow you to sink into the foam for maximum comfort. At the same time, you’ll still enjoy good mobility and breathability, which means you’re less likely to sleep hot.
Curious about the unique AirFoam™ in this mattress? Learn more in my full Nolah mattress review.
A soft, supportive construction makes the Nolah mattress especially good for back sleepers.
Best Cooling Mattress
When you hear the word “Bear,” you might picture a huge animal covered in warm fur. But in actuality, the Bear Mattress is one of the most cooling foam mattresses around. That’s thanks to several features, including a Celliant cover that’s thin and breathable and a graphite infusion that helps draw heat away from the body. Combined with the memory foam comfort layer and a relatively firm feel, this construction might be ideal for athletes, back sleepers, or combo sleepers who switch between their back and side.
In fact, the Bear was built with athletes in mind — hence the Celliant cover. There’s some evidence that Celliant can help with athletic recovery, though it’s a good idea to do your own research on that point. Even if you’re more of a weekend warrior (or a bonafide couch potato), you might like the Bear if you’re in the market for an all-foam mattress that sleeps cool and has a firmer feel. That firmness should keep back sleepers’ spines aligned and prevent you from feeling stuck in the bed, while the memory foam offers pressure relief at the shoulders and hips if you spend a little time on your side.
Have I piqued your interest? Then check out my detailed Bear mattress review.
The cover of the Bear mattress uses celliant, which some studies suggest may help those with active lifestyles recover faster!
Best Mattress for Back Pain
The wrong mattress for your sleep needs can cause an achy back, but the Casper might help soothe one. It uses a Zoned Support structure designed to offer support or comfort where you need it most. To that end, the mattress is firmer at the hips — to support proper spinal alignment — and softer at the shoulders for more pressure relief.
This structure is ideal for back sleepers and combo sleepers who spend the night moving between their backs and their sides. Combo sleepers will also appreciate the fact that it’s easy to move around on this mattress thanks to a layer of bouncy foam that’s similar in feel to latex. In fact, sleepers of all stripes might appreciate this layer, because it makes the Casper more breathable than many all-memory foam mattresses. The open-cell poly-foam helps promote airflow and defend against trapped heat.
Still not sure about this popular bed-in-a-box mattress? Read my comprehensive Casper review.
The memory foam, latex, and heavy-duty poly foam work together to offer sleepers a beautifully balanced feel!
Best Value Mattress
Dreamfoam Arctic Dreams
The Dreamfoam Arctic Dreams mattress is incredibly affordable. At under $600 for a queen size, this mattress really offers a lot of bang for your buck. If you’re looking for some springier support, the Arctic Dreams mattress also comes in an equally affordable hybrid model.
As you might have guessed from the name, the Arctic Dreams mattress sleeps cool. Its cover includes a special cooling panel designed specifically to dissipate heat. And its memory foam layer is gel-infused to prevent it from trapping body heat. If you’re a hot sleeper looking for a value mattress, I’d highly recommend checking out the Arctic Dreams bed.
Is the Arctic Dreams the best new mattress for you? Read my full Arctic Dreams mattress review to find out!
This cooling foam mattress is great for budget shoppers! Enjoy 20% off with code WINTER20.
Types of Foam
Unlike traditional innerspring mattresses that use steel coils to relieve pressure points, foam mattresses rely on supportive layers of foam to adjust to your body. Many mattresses vary in the thickness or type of foam used, but the different layers are what makes each foam mattress so unique. It is very common for a good foam mattress to start with a base layer of support foam.
Support foam is a high density foundational layer. It is highly breathable which helps to limit the absorption of excess heat while still being firm enough to give the mattress its structure. Some support foams may be noted as convoluted foams. These special foams are machine pressed to give them their unique cone-like structure. This feature helps to prevent the mattress from sagging. It also provides deep compression support and promotes cooling and breathability throughout the mattress.
Above the foundational support foam layer, some mattresses will include a layer of transition foam. Transition foam provides additional support to the above layers and also helps to provide deep compression support. This is especially important for heavier sleepers. Transitional foam is usually a poly foam or sometimes a memory foam (see below for more info).
Latex foam is used for comfort, bounce and cooling. It is a more responsive foam in how quickly it is able to adjust to your changes in position and movements. This is in contrast to memory foam, which is usually slower to respond, but creates a more pronounced hug and contour. In your search through foam mattress reviews, you may also run across some aerated latex foams. These foams have all of the same properties of a traditional latex foam, while also adding extra breathability. In addition, some sleepers find the responsiveness of an aerated latex foam to be quicker than traditional latex.
Memory foam is sometimes used in place of or in conjunction with latex foam for hybrid mattresses. This foam provides body-contouring support that relives pressure points, while also providing deep compression support. There are many different types of memory foam. It’s important to note that all memory foams are not created equal, there is a wide spectrum of varying quality and performance. Some memory foams are nearly as responsive as latex, while more traditional memory foams may take several seconds to respond. The depth of the sinkage and hug also varies between memory foams.
All memory foams are polyurethane foams, but not all polyurethane foams are memory foam. A true memory foam is visco elastic, meaning it resists more when pressure is applied. This is why it creates a deeper hug and responds to changes more slow. Most support foams and some transitional foams are poly foams. Lastly, both memory and poly foams can contain gel, copper, or other infused materials to provide additional cooling or change the feel.
Custom and proprietary foams also exist to fill many of the gaps between latex, memory, and other poly foams. Avena is a custom foam designed to feel like latex, but with added durability. Energex is also a latex foam alternative, but provides better support.
Types of Mattress Covers
Lastly, the cover. While the cover may not seem like an important factor the distinction and difference can dramatically change the feel. There are two basic types of cover, thin covers and covers with padding. Thin covers create extra cooling and allow sleepers more direct contact with the foam layers. These are most common in memory foam mattresses.
Padded covers can take many forms, they can be as thin as just a 0.5″ of quilted material or as thick as a dense and plush pillow topper. Padded covers put more space between sleepers and foam layers below. They also create more immediate softness and pressure relief for sleepers that isn’t as impacted as much by the relative responsiveness and feel of the support foam layers below.
Very light sleepers (130 pounds or less) generally do better with a padded cover, unless they like to float more on top of the mattress with a firmer feel. Padded / quilted covers offer a more classic and traditional look and feel.
Recap: Best Foam Mattresses
|Mattress||Best For||Price (Queen)||Coupon||Review|
|Layla||Soft||$1,049||Layla Coupon||Read Our Review!|
|Leesa Studio||Back Sleepers||$799||Leesa Coupon||Read Our Review!|
|WinkBeds Memory Lux||Memory Foam||$1,599||WinkBed Coupon||Read Our Review!|
|Nolah||Side Sleepers||$1,049||Nolah Coupon||Read Our Review!|
|Bear||Cooling||$995||Bear Coupon||Read Our Review!|
|Casper||Back Pain||$1,295||Casper Coupon||Read Our Review!|
|Brooklyn Bedding Bowery||Value||$699||Brooklyn Bedding Coupon||Read Our Review!|